Analyzing the 5 BLUFF POY Buy-in Tiers Going Into the 2014 WSOP

Mike McDonald leads the 2014 BLUFF POY race and the High Roller POY race, and he can really help his cause in both at the 2014 WSOP.

Mike McDonald leads the 2014 BLUFF POY race and the High Roller POY race, and he can really help his cause in both at the 2014 WSOP.

BLUFF has created a new way to recognize more of the best tournament players in a given year with our expanded Player of the Year system. In addition to the overall POY race, which will continue to operate in the exact same way, there will be separate categories based on both region and buy-in level.

This week, we’ll take a look at how the five different buy-in tiers stand going into the 2014 World Series of Poker, and how much they’ll be impacted by the summer’s events.

High Roller

  1. Mike McDonald – 360.00
  2. Fabian Quoss – 359.10
  3. Philipp Gruissem – 310.20
  4. Jacob Schindler – 282.00
  5. Vanessa Selbst – 266.00

Mike McDonald and Fabian Quoss remain out in front in the 2014 BLUFF High Roller Player of the Year race, where they’ve been virtually tied for months. Philipp Gruissem sits third going into the 2014 WSOP after winning the €25,000 High Roller at the EPT Grand Final in late April.

Although the PCA and a handful of EPT events go a long way in what will determine the eventual champion, there are three massive events that will certainly make a mark. Between the $25,000 Mixed Max – which kicks off the 2014 WSOP – the Poker Players Championship and the $1 Million Big One for One Drop, there will be a lot of POY points on the line.


  1. Dominik Panka – 620.00
  2. Alex Bilokur – 417.50
  3. James Carroll – 370.60
  4. Keven Stammen – 337.45
  5. Antonio Buonanno – 336.15

Dominik Panka maintains the top spot and a cushy lead, as you might expect from somebody who won the PCA Main Event and a €10,000 High Roller at EPT Deauville. Other challengers are slowly creeping up, though, with WPT World Championship winner Keven Stammen and EPT Grand Final Main Event champ Antonio Buonanno in second and third, respectively.

With the return of a wide range of $10,000 events at the 2014 WSOP, there will be points flying around like crazy. Any player who might happen to put together multiple final tables and a bracelet could quickly become a contender, as could someone like Stammen or Buonanno if they continue to add to their successes over the summer.


  1. James Calderaro – 403.20
  2. Eric Afriat – 322.00
  3. Anthony Merulla – 280.00
  4. Mukul Pahuja – 272.44
  5. Andrea Dato – 245.08

The top five remains the same as it’s been for over a month, with James Calderaro out in fron thanks to a first and a second in $3,500 WPT events. While there are some opportunities for points at this buy-in level over the summer, there aren’t as many as you might think. Just seven WSOP bracelet events fall between $2,500 and $4,999, making this tier the least affected by the WSOP – outside of Single-A, which has none. Calderaro has had some success at the WSOP and plans on another full slate in 2014, but the fields in the No Limit Hold’em events at this level will put a lot of points in play.


  1. Eric Blair – 490.70
  2. Joseph Mckeehen – 353.24
  3. Jonathan Gaviao – 349.10
  4. Nipun Java – 326.70
  5. Erwann Pecheux – 302.50

Eric Blair is the new leader at Double-A after winning the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Black Hawk, Colorado. This win was Blair’s third since mid-March, along with victories at the Wynn Classic and the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza Main Event. Joseph Mckeehen got his 11th cash of the year via a deep run in the WSOPC Main Event at Harrahs Philadelphia, and added a 12th in a WSOPC prelim in New Orleans.

A whopping 39 of the 65 bracelets on the line this summer fall into this buy-in range, and with the massive fields that are likely for many of the $1,000 and $1,500 No Limit Hold’em events, this could be the most competitive race of all.


  1. Dave Banerjee – 193.25
  2. William Scarsdale – 115.88
  3. Edison Tapiz – 104.95
  4. Tim West – 103.74
  5. Andrew Robinson – 98.75

William Scarsdale is the second player at this level to clear 100 points – not an easy task with such a small buy-in multiplier in play. Scarsdale has five top three finishes, including three in Oklahoma and one in Mississippi, but it was his second five-figure score and first win of the year that put him over the top. It came in late-April, when Scarsdale won a $250 event with 341 players at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza.

Dave Banerjee is still the overall leader by a fair margin, but the points will be flying with Daily Deepstack events at the Rio, Ventian DeepStack events and a wide variety of other tournament series’ all over Las Vegas running tournaments at this buy-in tier throughout the summer. Tim West put himself in the top five with a nice run on the WSOPC, with a second place finish in Black Hawk, Colorado, a fifth place finish in New Orleans and his second career Circuit ring in New Orleans over the course of two weeks – and all of which fell into this buy-in level.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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